On Monday, February 22, Stefan Nalletamby, African Development Bank Acting Vice-President, Operations, in charge of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, and the representative of Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Côte d’Ivoire officially launched the African Network of Centers of Excellence in Electricity (ANCEE) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
In his statement, Nalletamby emphasized the urgent need for Africa to address the human resource capacity gap in the energy sector, especially in view of the massive investments planned in the coming few years. The energy sector in Africa has suffered from years of inadequate investments in infrastructure and human resources, particularly technicians, engineers and sector managers, creating a major threat to the sustainability of the sector. He highlighted the alignment of this important initiative with the current strategic approach of the Bank framed around the New Deal on Energy for Africa and the development priority to light up and power Africa.
The African Development Bank is providing a grant of approximately EUR 9.7 million, while the French Development Agency is contributing EUR 3.0 million to the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (ASEA) in order to structure a network of four centers of excellence and to train roughly 9,700 technical and managerial staff of the power utilities, one third of whom are to be women. This innovative networking approach aims at improving the performance of the power sector and increase the quality of power services.
The selected four centers of excellence are the Eskom Academy of Learning (South Africa), the Kafue Gorge Regional Training Center (Zambia), the Institute de Formation Pour l’Electricité et le Gas (IFEG), and the Centre des Sciences et Technologies en Electricité (Morocco).
The launching meeting was attended by representatives of more than 40 power utilities, the African Union, and the power pools.